I will try to give you a general idea first and then try to answer the specifics. Internet providers can be broken up into three main categories in Canada.
1) The Big 4 - Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw: Bell and Rogers seem to be the biggest provider in Canada with Telus only being available in BC and AB. Beware of these companies as these companies are known for giving a nice introductory price and price gouging after and charging absurd amounts after their promo period is over. These companies will also try to sell you bundled offers (Internet + home phone + cellphone + cable) to get you to stay with them. Pricing can range anywhere from $25 (YMMV) to $150 per month depending on what you get.
2) Sister companies of the Big 4 - Virgin, Fido: Virgin is a cheaper version of Bell and Fido is a cheaper version of Rogers. Their prices are similar to that of their parent companies. Pricing can range anywhere from $50 to $100 per month depending on what you get.
3) Third party contractors from the Big 4: These companies use Rogers/Bell internet lines to provide internet to you. In short these companies buy internet from Rogers/Bell and then sell it to you. Some names that come to my mind are Teksavvy, Primus, Start.ca to name a few. These companies vary by region and may/may not be available in your area depending on your location. Pricing can range anywhere from $35ish to $150 per month depending on what you get.
All of these providers have decent speeds ranging from at least 25 Mbps to 1 Gbps.
- How do residents normally obtain internet connection? What is your recommendation?
This will depend greatly on location. If you are in GVA, you will have all major providers available to you. You can walk in to a store, book and appointment over the phone/online to have a tech come to your place and setup internet for you. However do your own research first as to which internet provider suits your needs the most. As internet providers will try to charge you as much as they can.
- Do I have to pay any money up ahead for a modem or cable installation?
You have both options. You can both buy your modem/router upfront or pay rent to the provider to give you one. I personally prefer to buy my own modem/router as it comes out cheaper in the long run. If you live in a building, then most likely all the big companies have existing lines there. Also make sure with the internet company that the modem/router you are buying is compatible with their lines.
- Do I have a wide range of choices or am I limited to what neighborhood I will be living in?
Pretty much limited to what neighborhood you are in. However most of GVA has a lot of choices.
- Are there anything related here I should be notified about?
Some things I can think of the top off my head: Big 4 will charge you huge amounts after the promo period is over. Make sure to keep checking your bill. People try to play the switch-a-roo game (switch providers to get a better price) in order to get a better price. If that is not your thing, go with one of the third party providers like TekSavvy or Start. For normal home use, all of these providers should be fine. Make sure you go through your internet agreement so that you know what you are getting into. All of these providers provide cable straight to your home and you can do whatever combo you want after that. All of these providers also have a postal code lookup to check if they provide internet in your area. (Start.ca for example)